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Distribution of abundance, biomass, production and productivity of macrozoobenthos in the Sub-Antarctic Magellan Province (South America)

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Thatje, S. and Mutschke, E. (1999): Distribution of abundance, biomass, production and productivity of macrozoobenthos in the Sub-Antarctic Magellan Province (South America) , Polar Biology:, 22 , pp. 31-37 .
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Abstract:

Distribution of abundance, biomass, productivity and production of macrozoobenthos was investigated in four study areas in the Magellan region(South Patagonian Ice-Field, Strait of Magellan, Beagle Channel. Continental Shelf). Using a Reineck box corer and a multibox corer, a total of 277 quantitative benthos samples were taken at 78 stations in water depths between 8 and 1139 m during the Joint Chilean-German Italian Magellan "Victor-Hensen Campaign" in 1994 the "Polarstern" expedition ANT XIII/4 in 1996 and the Chilean expeditions "Cimar Fiordo II + III" in 1996 and 1997, respectively, on board RV "Vidal Gormaz" Mean abundance in the South Patagonian Ice-Field was significantly lower than in the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel. Biomass and abundance decreased clearly with depth (20-300 m to 700-1 500 m: 3.9 gC /m super(2) to 0.6 gC/m super(2); 2832 ind./m super(2) to 569 ind./m super(2)). Average abundance, biomass and production of the whole Magellan region are lower (2318 ind./m super(2), 3.2 gC/m super(2), 0.62 gC/m super(2) /year) than in the high Antarctic Weddel Sea. In the Magellan region, macrozoobenthos composition of abundance is mainly dominated by polychaetes (56 %), followed by arthropods (16 %), echinoderms (10 %) and molluscs (11 %). Comparisons of our present results with those of high Antarctic areas make it clear that the Magellan region has a transitional character.

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